By: TIM BOOTH
SEATTLE (AP) Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and Mark Teixeira followed with a solo shot as part of New York’s six-run third inning Thursday night, and Phil Hughes took a shutout into the eighth for the Yankees in a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Cano and Teixeira were the catalysts for New York’s big third inning that proved to be the Yankees only offense as they started a 10-game West Coast trip with a win. New York matched its season high for runs scored in an inning, tagging Seattle starter Aaron Harang (2-6) for eight hits in the third before being shut down the rest of the night.
Hughes (3-4) won for the first time in nearly a month. He struck out seven before leaving after facing one batter in the eighth inning.
The last time Hughes saw the Mariners, he didn’t make it out of the first inning. Hughes lasted just two outs May 15, giving up seven earned runs and six hits. On Thursday, the Mariners didn’t get a runner to third base until the sixth inning when Brendan Ryan walked and reached third on Kyle Seager’s one-out single, the third hit allowed by Hughes. Ryan was left at third after Hughes got pop outs from Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales.
Hughes retired the first eight batters before Ryan’s two-out single in the third. He then set down seven of the next eight before Ryan walked to open the sixth. Seattle avoided the shutout thanks to Seager’s RBI double in the eighth. The run was unearned because of an error earlier in the inning.
The Yankees batted around in the third inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and knocking out Harang after 2 1-3 innings. Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner sandwiched singles around Austin Romine’s strikeout. Cano then lined a high fastball into the right field seats for his 15th homer and before Harang could recover, Teixeira hit his third homer to right-center to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead. It was New York’s first back-to-back homers since Cano and Vernon Wells on May 12 in Kansas City.
The battering of Harang didn’t stop. Travis Hafner singled and Kevin Youkilis doubled before Wells looped an RBI single. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a line drive over shortstop Brendan Ryan to score another run and Harang’s miserable night was done.
The bright spot for Seattle was reliever Blake Beavan, who was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. Beavan, who was demoted to the minors on May 1, retired 14 straight batters after taking over for Harang, striking out four. Beavan’s streak was snapped when Hafner led off the eighth with a single, but that was the only hit allowed in 6 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Suzuki played in Seattle for the second time with the Yankees. Last year was a whirlwind with his trade to New York taking place while the Yankees were in Seattle. He was greeted with a tepid ovation before his first at-bat but the “Ichimeter” that was a staple of his time in Seattle was back in the front row of the right field stands. Before the game Suzuki, who is staying at the team hotel, joked he never fully realized how many Starbucks there were in downtown Seattle. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he texted with 3B Alex Rodriguez in the last couple of days but it was strictly baseball related. … Seager extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Michael Morse (quad) returned to lineup for Seattle after missing last seven games. He struck out three times.